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26/07/2021

Public money for private Laois road but no public money for the public road it links with

laois county council

Picture for illustration purposes

Public money is set to be spent upgrading a private road in the Castletown area but there is no funding set aside yet to repair a connected public road that is in equally bad condition, say councillors.

The issue of the L-16191 road at Cuddagh, Castletown was raised recently with Laois County Council by councillors. They want the council to repair the public road to the standard of a soon to be resurfaced private road that joins it.

Cllr James Kelly said about €80,000 is to be spent on the private section along which several families live. They are covering 15% of the cost.

It is being funded through the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) which allows public money to be spent on private roads used mainly for agricultural purposes and where residents can subsidise the cost.

The scheme was suspended during the property crash recession. Cllr Kelly said the residents waited more than a decade for their application to be approved for resurfacing.

However, while funding is being set aside for the private part of the road, councillors say the public part that leads to it needs substantial work.

The issue was raised in a motion by Cllr Conor Bergin and supported by Cllr Kelly, at the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District meeting.

Cllr Bergin’s motion called on the Council to address what he called “serious road surface issues” on the public part as a priority.

Mr Edmond Kenny, District Engineer replied: “Laois County Council crews will attend to this road to undertake the necessary road repairs”.

However, Cllr Bergin emphasised the need for more work saying that residents had waited for funding to support work on the private part of the road for 13 years. “It is only fair that we meet them halfway,” he said.

He hoped that the work would be included in the next Roads Improvement Scheme programme which deals with local public roads in Laois.

Cllr Kelly praised the council for getting funding for work on 3,000 metres of the private road under the LIS but he added that he fully supported the call made by Cllr Bergin for the public part to be upgraded to the same standard.

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